Sept 15, 2013 –
Canadian teams dominated their US competition at last weekend’s CanAm IceBreaker, co-hosted by the North Shore Winter Club and the Burnaby Winter Club Bantam A1 teams.
Other teams participating included Okanagan Hockey Academy, Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy, Seafair Bantam A1, Dallas Stars Elite ’99, San Jose Jr. Sharks, and the Anaheim Jr. Ducks.
NSWC, BWC, OHA and POE were all dominant in this tournament, outscoring opponents by wide margins in some very lopsided affairs.
“I like the intensity we’ve played with,” said BWC coach John Batchelor after his team’s win over Dallas Saturday afternoon. “You can see which kids have trained really hard during the summer.”
The American visitors, however, showed they had a very high compete level and stayed within striking distance for several of the games.
“A lot of our players have not played at this kind of level before, so to come here and play at this level it really raises the bar high for them,” said Dallas coach Trevor Hanas. “I’m pretty happy with how we’re doing and how we’re competing.”
Both Winter Clubs plus the Okanagan Hockey Academy posted perfect 4-0 records in the round robin; while Pursuit of Excellence academy team lost one game, 2-1 to the Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks were the best of the three US teams, and faced the NSWC in the final – who finished first among the Canadian teams on a goals for and against differential. The other two US teams, Dallas and San Jose were winless. Seafair A1 filled in as the fourth in the US pool, after Los Angeles withdrew.
In the final, the North Shore found themselves in unfamiliar territory as they fell behind 2-0 against Anaheim in the first period.
Then, with the score 2-1 in the second period, Nolan Kneen tallied for NSWC before Jordy Bellerive put the Winterhawks ahead for good with a powerplay goal. Evan Walls scored a beauty with a deke in tight and top shelf and Justin Almeida rounded off the scoring with an empty netter to make it a 5-2 final score.
Despite the slow start, NSWC finished the game confidently, controlling the game and the shot clock, which finished at 44-18 in their favour. It is easy to be confident when a team gets the results they want so early in the season, but there are plenty more challenges ahead. Speaking on the gauntlet of major tournaments ahead, Winterhawks’ Mack Gray tweeted simply “1 down, 6 more to go #roadtowesterns.”.
BWC also dominated in their round robin games, then met a determined Dallas, winning 2-1 in their final, while OHA downed San Jose, and PoE defeated Seafair.
The next test for these top teams will take place in about three weeks, at the annual Chilliwack Thanksgiving bantam tournament.